The Honest Progression of Losing You
It’s September. Start of junior year has been different. I’ve been busy. I call you to tell you about the start of school, recruitment, my new house. I tell you about my failed relationship, about how I miss you. You tell me not to worry. You tell me that everything will be okay and that you are always there for me. You tell me you’re so sorry because even you thought I had found a forever kind of love. You tell me that you wish there was more that you could do, more that you could say to make things better for me, like any Dad would wish. Our call ends. A week later you’re gone. A week later I receive a different call. My phone rings and it’s a detective and he tells me, he tells me you’re dead. I can’t breathe, I try but I can’t. You can’t be gone, it can’t be true yet, there I am boarding a flight to Connecticut to give you a funeral. I can’t breathe.
It’s October now. We have your funeral. Your ashes have been spread Dad, I am now meant to go back to “everyday” life. My life isn’t what it was before though, it never is going to be what it was like when you were alive. I go back to school. I feel like everyone is staring at me. I feel like everyone knows, even people that I’ve never met. I can’t take it. What am I supposed to do? No one treats me the same. There is a look of sadness in everyone’s eyes. They look at me as if I’m broken, as if I’m not still Kate. Yes, I am broken. But seeing the look on their faces makes it so much worse. So I stop. I stop seeing people. I stop going to class. I lay in bed. I look at pictures of you and I wonder why and I wonder why I can’t snap out of what I’m feeling. Why can’t I get out of bed?
It’s November now. We are coming up on Holiday season. We are coming up on my birthday. I won’t be getting a call from you this year, I know that. I still wait for it though. I’ve attempted to mend an old relationship. I think that it can work, that this will help me and that I will have some normalcy back in my life. It does help for now. I have someone there for me, someone you knew. That brings comfort. It feels good to feel loved and wanted despite struggling. Thanksgiving comes and goes. It’s not the same, It will never be the same without it being spent with you.
It’s December. I am trying to catch up on a whole semesters worth of work in two weeks. My teachers are understanding. Part of me wishes they weren’t but I know I need to be grateful that they aren’t flunking me. Mom says I need to get it together, in an understanding yet afraid for my future kind of way. She’s right. She always is. I know if you were here you would tell me the same thing. I pass my classes. It’s not my best semester but I somehow managed. We are on Christmas break. I needed a break, a break from sitting in my room at school. It isn’t enough to fix me though.
It’s January now. My anxiety is setting in again. I’m deciding if I am going to go back to school or not. I need to decide if I can handle it or not. I decide I should go back. I don’t know if it’s the right decision but I don’t want to be the girl who had to move back home because she couldn’t cope. School starts, I try to make a change and I do for now.
February is here. I decide it’s time for me to talk to someone. I need help. I know that, I know that I can’t let myself do what I did last semester. I go to therapy. My therapist is nice. I talk to him about you. I talk to him about my personality, about the things I need to work on. It helps. I don’t want to take medicine so I figure this is my best bet. If I want to figure things out then I need to talk, I need to learn to grieve in a better way.
It’s March. I’m doing better I think. I have family and friends all looking out for me. It helps having people there for you. I’m destructive though. I am having a hard time accepting that good can still happen. I wish I could just let myself embrace the good but I can’t. I choose to sabotage things instead; relationships, school, work, and myself.
It’s April. This is a hard month. I’m single again. I’m hard to be with someone right now. I’ve also realized that some of the people in my life don’t know how to handle me. That isn’t their fault, it’s hard to sympathize with someone who has lost a parent if you have never lost a parent yourself. I understand that and though it hurts to realize that some relationships are not meant to last, I am grateful for the lessons it gave me. I can’t seem to let good things happen to me. That’s something I’ll have to work on. But, it isn’t something that I have time to fix right now. My focus is on other things. My focus is on your birthday. You would have been 60. It also has been 6 months since you’ve passed and I feel like I’ve done nothing. It couldn’t have possibly been 6 months, the wound is just as fresh as the day it happened. It just simply doesn’t seem possible. I take a vacation. I go see Talia, she understands. If anyone can understand the pain, it is her. Seeing her helps. Starting to take medicine helps. I return back to school.
May is here. Only a few weeks left of school. The problem is however, I’m not interested in school right now. I’m interested in socializing. I’m interested in the wrong aspects of socializing. I like to go out. I think that it is making me happy, to be out with friends pushing my other responsibilities away. In some ways I am happy. I feel happier than I have since September, I know that without a doubt. But, I’m finding happiness in the wrong things. I don’t realize that right now though. School ends for the semester. I did better than the previous semester. Henry is graduating this month. You would have been here. You were at my graduation. Part of my feels guilty that I got to have you at mine and here we are, watching him cross the stage now but you’re not here.
Now it’s June. I’ve let myself fall back into a relationship that won’t last. It only takes about three weeks for it to fizzle out for good this time. There is too much baggage, too much healing and learning that I have left to do. There is too much pain, I can’t get over how I felt in my time of need and he can’t get over the way I’ve grasped onto the past. He doesn’t realize the past is the only place that you are and I don’t realize that I’m letting the past dictate my future. I have growing and a lot of learning to do. No matter how badly I want it to work, no matter how much it kills me to let go because I never wanted to let go, I’ll never be better if I keep hanging on. This will be good for me in the long run I hope. I am working. I am working with kids now and it makes me happy. I admire their innocence and beautiful views of this world. They see the good and the funny in everything and I can’t help but start to see it too regardless of the other trials going on in my life.
It’s July. Henry has just turned 18. He’s grown so much. He is so much more mature, even more mature than he was just months ago. I am proud of him. I think he feels the need to take care of me sometimes. I don’t know if he does it consciously or not, but I think part of him deep down realizes that you were my guy and that I don’t have my guy anymore. So now he is trying to be him, he is making an effort to fill that void. You can’t help but love him for it. We get along so much better now. I know we always used to fight but I can feel everything changing now, we finally are supporting each other the way a brother and sister should.
It’s August. School will start at the end of this month. I’m nervous about going back. So much has changed, so many memories are up there. I feel like I’ve messed up too much to go back. I know that’s not the case. I know I need to go back, it’s what I want deep down. I want to graduate and I want to be successful. I want to make you proud. Work ends. Vacation ends. School is here. I go to my classes. It’s weird being here again. It’s weird being back at school as a completely different person than I was just a few months ago. I’ve decided that I’m not going to go out as much, but I’m also not going to hide in my room. I am going to take this new me and continue to make myself a better me. I keep working on my ability to let things go. I work on comparing myself to others, reminding myself that I’m the best me there will ever be. I work on my emotions, on not letting them consume me. I’m trying.
It’s September. I’m a senior. I’ve been busy. I want to call you to tell you about the start of school, my roommates, work, new friends, new goals, my life. I want to tell you how much I miss you. I want you to tell me not to worry. I want you to tell me that everything will be okay and that you are always there for me. I want to hear you tell me that this is a new school year and that I have a new clean slate this semester. You’re not here to tell me those things. But, after almost a year without you I’ve realized that you are telling me those things. I’ve grieved and though I wish I didn’t have to I have finally started to accept that you’re gone, instead of asking why. I’m not okay with it, I miss you everyday but, I know that the only thing I can change is the way I am responding. I now know that I need to lessen my grip on the past so I can have a future. I know that I need to focus on what is important. I know I must forgive those who hurt me and I must apologize to those who I have hurt. I know you want me to be happy. I know you want me to be successful. I know you miss me. I also know you’re with me always. It’s almost been a year now. I am starting to breathe again. I am starting to see again.